If you want to have a faster and more reliable internet connection, choosing the right DNS servers is crucial. DNS (Domain Name System) servers help translate web addresses into IP addresses, allowing you to access websites more quickly and efficiently. But with so many DNS servers available, how do you know which ones to choose?
In this step-by-step guide, we will teach you everything you need to know to discover the best DNS servers for your needs. You will learn what DNS servers are, why they are important, how to find the fastest and most reliable ones, and how to troubleshoot common DNS server errors.
Whether you’re a tech novice or an experienced user, this guide will help you optimize your internet connection and improve your online experience. So, let’s get started!
Keep reading to learn how to find the perfect DNS servers for your needs, and discover the tools and tips that will help you boost your internet speed and performance.
What is a DNS server and why do you need one?
If you’ve ever wondered how you can easily access a website by just typing its name into your browser’s address bar, then you have DNS to thank for it. The Domain Name System (DNS) is like the internet’s phone book, translating human-friendly domain names like google.com into machine-friendly IP addresses like 126.96.36.199.
Without a DNS server, your computer wouldn’t know how to locate the websites you want to visit, and you would have to remember and type in their IP addresses instead. Additionally, DNS servers can help speed up your internet connection by caching frequently accessed information, making it faster to retrieve the next time it’s needed.
In summary, a DNS server is a crucial component of the internet infrastructure that helps translate domain names into IP addresses and speeds up website access. If you want to enjoy a seamless browsing experience, you need a reliable DNS server that can efficiently handle your internet requests.
Understanding the basics of DNS servers
|DNS Server||IP Address||Function|
|Root DNS Server||188.8.131.52||Contains the entire DNS hierarchy|
|Top-level Domain (TLD) DNS Server||172.16.0.1||Responsible for storing the DNS records for top-level domains such as .com, .org, .net, etc.|
|Authoritative DNS Server||192.168.1.1||Stores DNS records for a specific domain name|
|Recursive DNS Server||184.108.40.206||Resolves domain name queries by querying multiple DNS servers on behalf of the client|
A DNS server is a crucial component of the internet infrastructure that translates human-friendly domain names into machine-readable IP addresses. The process of resolving a domain name into an IP address involves a series of queries to various DNS servers. Understanding the different types of DNS servers and their functions is essential for managing a network or troubleshooting DNS-related issues.
Every device that connects to the internet, such as computers, smartphones, and routers, relies on DNS servers to access websites and online services. Without DNS servers, the internet would be unusable, as users would have to remember the IP addresses of websites they want to visit.
When you enter a website’s domain name into your web browser, your device sends a request to a DNS server, asking for the IP address associated with that domain name. The DNS server then responds with the IP address, allowing your device to establish a connection to the website’s server.
How to find the preferred DNS server for your network?
Step 1: Check your router settings to see if it has a pre-configured DNS server. This is usually the default setting for most routers.
Step 2: Use the built-in network diagnosis tool on your computer or device to identify the DNS server currently in use.
Step 3: Use a DNS benchmark tool to test the speed and reliability of different DNS servers. This will help you identify the best DNS server for your network.
Step 4: Contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to obtain information about their recommended DNS servers. They may have servers that are optimized for their network.
Step 5: Manually configure your DNS settings on your router or device to use the preferred DNS server. This can be done through the network settings in your device or router interface.
Step 1: Press the Windows key and type “cmd” to search for Command Prompt.
Step 2: Right-click on the Command Prompt and select “Run as Administrator”.
Step 3: Type “ipconfig /all” and press Enter. This will display detailed information about your network.
Step 4: Look for the line that says “DNS Servers”. The IP address listed next to it is your preferred DNS server.
If you have multiple network adapters, repeat the process for each adapter to find the preferred DNS server for each network.
Method 2: Checking the router settings for the preferred DNS server
If you have access to the router settings, you can easily find the preferred DNS server for your network. The steps may vary depending on your router’s model and firmware version, but the general process remains the same.
Step 1: Open a web browser and type in the IP address of your router in the address bar. The default IP address is usually printed on a label on the bottom of your router or can be found in the manual.
Step 2: Log in to the router’s admin panel using the username and password. Again, the default login credentials can be found in the manual or on the manufacturer’s website.
Step 3: Navigate to the “Network” or “Internet” section of the router settings. Look for an option called “DNS,” “DNS server,” or “DNS settings.”
Step 4: Check the DNS server address listed. This is typically the preferred DNS server for your network. If there is no address listed, your router is likely using your ISP’s default DNS server.
By accessing your router settings, you can easily find the preferred DNS server for your network. Keep in mind that changing these settings may affect your network’s performance, so make sure to proceed with caution.
Method 3: Checking the network adapter settings for the preferred DNS server
If you have multiple network adapters on your device, you may need to check the settings for each adapter to find the preferred DNS server. Here’s how:
- Open the Control Panel: Click on the Windows Start button and search for “Control Panel”.
- Click on Network and Sharing Center: In the Control Panel, click on Network and Sharing Center.
- Click on Change adapter settings: On the left-hand side of the window, click on Change adapter settings.
- Right-click on the network adapter: Right-click on the network adapter for which you want to check the DNS settings and select Properties.
- Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4): In the Properties window, select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and click on Properties.
- Check the DNS server address: In the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) Properties window, check the “Preferred DNS server” field to see the preferred DNS server for that adapter.
By following these steps, you can find the preferred DNS server for each network adapter on your device.
It’s important to note that changing the DNS server settings for a specific network adapter will only affect that adapter. If you want to change the DNS server settings for all network adapters on your device, you’ll need to follow the steps outlined in Method 1 or Method 2.
What are alternate DNS servers and when should you use them?
If you’re experiencing slow internet speeds or facing issues accessing certain websites, using alternate DNS servers can help resolve these problems. DNS servers translate domain names into IP addresses, which allows you to access websites. While your ISP (Internet Service Provider) may provide you with a default DNS server, it may not always be the most efficient one.
Alternate DNS servers are essentially DNS servers provided by third-party companies. These servers may offer better performance and security than your default DNS server, which can result in faster internet speeds and improved online security.
Another reason to use alternate DNS servers is to bypass website blocks. In some cases, certain websites may be blocked by your ISP. Using an alternate DNS server can help you access these sites by routing your traffic through a different server.
However, it’s important to note that some alternate DNS servers may come with their own set of risks. They may not be as reliable or secure as your default DNS server, and may even collect your browsing data for advertising purposes. Therefore, it’s important to research and choose a reputable alternate DNS server before making the switch.
Overall, using alternate DNS servers can be a good solution to improve internet speeds and bypass website blocks. Just be sure to do your research and choose a trustworthy provider.
Understanding the importance of alternate DNS servers
Increased reliability: Using alternate DNS servers can increase the reliability of your internet connection. If your primary DNS server experiences an outage, having an alternate server in place can ensure that you can still access the internet without interruption.
Improved speed: Sometimes, alternate DNS servers can provide faster response times, which can lead to improved internet speed and performance. This is especially true if your primary DNS server is located far away from your location.
Access to geo-restricted content: Some alternate DNS servers can provide access to geo-restricted content that may not be available in your region. This is because they can route your internet traffic through different locations, making it appear as if you are accessing the content from a different location.
Enhanced privacy: Some alternate DNS servers may offer additional privacy and security features, such as blocking ads, tracking, and malware. This can help protect your online privacy and keep your data secure from cyber threats.
How to find alternate DNS servers for your network?
There are several ways to find alternate DNS servers for your network:
- Use a public DNS server: Several companies, such as Google, Cloudflare, and OpenDNS, offer public DNS servers that you can use as an alternative to your default DNS server.
- Check with your ISP: Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) may have its own alternate DNS servers that you can use.
- Search online for alternate DNS servers: You can search online for alternate DNS servers that are available to use. However, be careful when using servers from unknown sources, as they may not be reliable or secure.
- Ask for recommendations: You can ask for recommendations from tech-savvy friends or online forums for reliable alternate DNS servers that they have used.
Before using an alternate DNS server, be sure to research it thoroughly and ensure that it is reputable, reliable, and secure. Using an unreliable or insecure DNS server can leave you vulnerable to various online threats.
How to switch to an alternate DNS server?
To switch to an alternate DNS server, follow these steps:
- Step 1: Open the Control Panel on your computer and select “Network and Sharing Center.”
- Step 2: Click on “Change adapter settings” on the left-hand side of the screen.
- Step 3: Right-click on the network connection you want to change and select “Properties.”
- Step 4: Select “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” and click on “Properties.”
- Step 5: Click on the radio button next to “Use the following DNS server addresses” and enter the IP addresses of the alternate DNS servers you want to use.
- Step 6: Click “OK” to save your changes.
It’s important to note that changing your DNS server settings may affect your internet speed and overall browsing experience. If you experience any issues, you can always switch back to your original DNS server settings.
Additionally, some devices such as smartphones and tablets may have different steps to change DNS settings. Refer to the device’s user manual or online support resources for more information.
Overall, switching to an alternate DNS server can provide benefits such as increased internet speed, improved security, and access to geo-restricted content. It’s worth considering if you’re experiencing slow internet or want to optimize your browsing experience.
How to determine the fastest DNS server for your location?
When it comes to internet speed, the DNS server you use can have a significant impact on your browsing experience. However, choosing the fastest DNS server for your location can be a challenging task. In this section, we’ll discuss some methods to help you determine the fastest DNS server for your location.
Method 1: Using online tools
There are various online tools available that can help you find the fastest DNS server for your location. One such tool is the DNS Benchmark tool, which tests the speed of various DNS servers and provides a detailed report of their performance. Another tool is the Namebench, which is a free and open-source tool that tests the speed of various DNS servers and recommends the best one based on your location.
Method 2: Using command-line tools
If you’re comfortable using the command line, you can use tools like the nslookup command to test the response time of different DNS servers. The command tests the time it takes for a DNS server to respond to a query. You can test multiple DNS servers and compare their response times to find the fastest one.
Method 3: Using a DNS monitoring tool
A DNS monitoring tool can help you monitor the performance of different DNS servers and determine which one is the fastest for your location. Such tools continuously monitor the response time of different DNS servers and provide real-time reports of their performance. Some examples of DNS monitoring tools are DNSperf, PerfOps DNS, and DNS Spy.
Method 4: Using your router’s built-in tools
If you’re using a router, you can use its built-in tools to find the fastest DNS server for your location. Most routers have a built-in DNS benchmark tool that tests the speed of different DNS servers and recommends the best one based on your location. You can also manually enter the DNS server addresses provided by your ISP to improve your browsing speed.
Using benchmarking tools to find the fastest DNS server
If you want to determine the fastest DNS server for your location, you can use benchmarking tools to test the response times of various DNS servers. Here are some steps to follow:
Step 1: Download and install a DNS benchmarking tool such as DNS Benchmark or Namebench.
Step 2: Run the benchmarking tool and let it test the response times of various DNS servers.
Step 3: The benchmarking tool will display the results, listing the fastest DNS servers at the top. Select the one that is most suitable for your needs.
Step 4: Configure your network adapter or router to use the selected DNS server.
Benchmarking tools can help you find the fastest DNS server for your location, allowing you to improve your browsing speed and overall internet performance.
What are the best DNS servers available and how to switch to them?
DNS servers play a critical role in internet connectivity, and using a reliable and fast DNS server can greatly improve your internet browsing experience. Here are some of the best DNS servers available:
- Google Public DNS: One of the most popular DNS servers, Google Public DNS is known for its fast response times and high availability.
- Cloudflare DNS: Another popular DNS server, Cloudflare DNS is known for its strong privacy and security features, including DNS-over-HTTPS and DNS-over-TLS.
- OpenDNS: Acquired by Cisco, OpenDNS offers both free and paid versions of its service with various features, such as parental controls and malware protection.
To switch to one of these DNS servers, follow the steps mentioned earlier in this guide to change your DNS settings. Make sure to note down your current DNS settings in case you need to revert to them later.
Keep in mind that while these DNS servers are generally reliable and fast, their performance can vary depending on your location and internet service provider. It’s always a good idea to use a benchmarking tool to determine the fastest DNS server for your location.
Top 2 DNS servers available and how to switch to them
There are many DNS servers available, but two of the most popular and trusted options are Google DNS and OpenDNS. Both offer fast and reliable service, as well as additional features that can improve your browsing experience.
Google DNS: To switch to Google DNS, you will need to update your network settings. Go to the Control Panel on your computer and select Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center. Click on Change adapter settings, right-click on the network adapter you’re using, and select Properties. Click on Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and then click on Properties. Select Use the following DNS server addresses and enter 220.127.116.11 for the Preferred DNS server and 18.104.22.168 for the Alternate DNS server. Click OK and then close the Control Panel.
OpenDNS: To switch to OpenDNS, you will need to create an account on their website and then update your network settings. Go to the Control Panel on your computer and select Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center. Click on Change adapter settings, right-click on the network adapter you’re using, and select Properties. Click on Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and then click on Properties. Select Use the following DNS server addresses and enter 22.214.171.124 for the Preferred DNS server and 126.96.36.199 for the Alternate DNS server. Click OK and then close the Control Panel.
Once you have updated your network settings, you can start using the new DNS server right away. Keep in mind that it may take a few minutes for the changes to take effect, so be patient. If you encounter any issues, you can always switch back to your original DNS server by following the same steps and selecting Obtain DNS server address automatically.
It’s worth noting that there are other DNS servers available besides Google DNS and OpenDNS, and some may work better for your specific location or internet service provider. It’s always a good idea to do some research and testing to find the best DNS server for your needs.
How to switch to a custom DNS server of your choice?
If you want to use a DNS server that is not on the list of default or alternate DNS servers, you can switch to a custom DNS server of your choice by following these steps:
Step 1: Go to your network settings and locate the DNS server settings.
Step 2: Enter the IP address of the custom DNS server you want to use.
Step 3: Save your changes and restart your network devices.
It is important to note that when using a custom DNS server, you will need to ensure that it is reliable and secure. You can also use benchmarking tools to test its speed and performance compared to other DNS servers.
What are the common DNS server errors and how to troubleshoot them?
DNS server not responding: This is a common error that indicates the DNS server is not responding to requests. Troubleshoot this by checking your network settings, restarting your router, and resetting your DNS settings.
DNS cache corruption: This can cause issues with accessing websites and may result in error messages. Clear the DNS cache on your computer or device to fix this issue.
Incorrect DNS server address: If you are unable to access websites, it may be because the DNS server address you are using is incorrect. Verify that you are using the correct DNS server address for your network or switch to a different DNS server.
DNS server not responding error and how to troubleshoot it
If you are experiencing a “DNS server not responding” error, there are several steps you can take to troubleshoot the issue.
Step 1: Restart your router and modem. This can often resolve the issue by resetting your network connection and refreshing your DNS cache.
Step 2: Check your DNS settings. Make sure that your DNS settings are correct and set to automatically obtain an IP address and DNS server address.
Step 3: Disable your firewall temporarily. Sometimes your firewall can block your DNS server, so disabling it temporarily can help you determine if it’s causing the issue.
Step 4: Try a different DNS server. Your DNS server may be down or experiencing issues, so switching to a different server can help resolve the issue.
DNS cache issues and how to resolve them
DNS cache is a temporary database on your computer or device that stores the domain name system (DNS) lookup results for a specific time period. When the cache becomes outdated, it can cause various issues such as slow loading of websites, unable to access certain websites, and other network problems.
To resolve DNS cache issues, the easiest solution is to clear the DNS cache. This can be done by opening the command prompt (Windows) or terminal (Mac) and typing “ipconfig /flushdns” (Windows) or “sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder” (Mac). Another option is to restart your router or modem, which will clear the DNS cache for your entire network.
If you continue to experience DNS cache issues, you may need to change your DNS server settings. You can try switching to a different DNS server or resetting your DNS settings to their default values. If these solutions do not work, it may be a more complex network issue that requires further troubleshooting.
Incorrect DNS configuration and how to fix it
If you are experiencing problems with your DNS configuration, you may encounter issues with accessing websites or online services. One common error is mistyping the IP address or domain name. To fix this, check the configuration settings of your router or computer and ensure that the IP address or domain name is spelled correctly.
Another common issue is configuring the wrong DNS server IP address. To fix this, double-check the settings of your router or computer and make sure that you have entered the correct DNS server IP address. You can also try switching to a different DNS server to see if that resolves the issue.
Finally, make sure that your DNS settings are configured to obtain an IP address automatically. If you are manually configuring your DNS settings, you may need to change your settings to obtain an IP address automatically to ensure that your configuration is correct.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is it important to find the preferred and alternate DNS server?
Finding the preferred and alternate DNS server is crucial for a smooth internet experience. The DNS server translates domain names into IP addresses, allowing users to access websites. If the DNS server is slow or not responding, it can cause delays and even prevent access to certain websites.
What are the steps to find the preferred and alternate DNS server?
There are various ways to find the preferred and alternate DNS server. One way is to check the router settings or network adapter settings. Another way is to use online tools that test and provide recommended DNS servers for a particular location.
How to check router settings for preferred and alternate DNS server?
To check router settings for preferred and alternate DNS server, log in to the router’s web interface and navigate to the DNS settings. The preferred and alternate DNS server addresses should be listed in the settings.
How to check network adapter settings for preferred and alternate DNS server?
To check network adapter settings for preferred and alternate DNS server on a Windows computer, go to the Control Panel and select Network and Sharing Center. Click on Change adapter settings, right-click on the active connection, and select Properties. Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and click on Properties. The preferred and alternate DNS server addresses can be entered here.
How to test and find recommended DNS servers for a particular location?
There are online tools such as DNS Benchmark, Namebench, and DNS Jumper that can test and provide recommended DNS servers for a particular location. These tools can test multiple DNS servers and provide information on the fastest and most reliable servers available.
How to switch to the preferred or alternate DNS server?
To switch to the preferred or alternate DNS server, go to the network adapter settings and enter the preferred and alternate DNS server addresses. Alternatively, it can be changed in the router settings. It is recommended to test the new DNS server to ensure it is functioning correctly.